• UCL Twitter account
  • UCL YouTube channel
  • UCL Facebook page
  • UCL SoundCloud channel
  • UCL iTunes store

Information for Staff


Select dates to view past and future events

17:30 - 19:00 21 April 2016

From the Scopes trial of 1925 to battles over intelligent design 2015


Committee Room 1 | UCL Institute of Education (link Map)
20 Bedford Way | London | WC1H 0AL | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Prof. James W. Fraser, New York University

In this seminar Prof Fraser will introduce one of the most famous trials in American history, that of high school Biology teacher John T. Scopes who was convicted of teaching evolution in the public schools of Tennessee in 1925. As will be shown the trial raised a series of legal and cultural issues, which continue to have relevance to this day. Not only whether a state has the right to ban the core ideas of the biological sciences, but who has the right to decide a school’s curriculum, the free speech rights of teachers, and the place of passionately held religious beliefs in a nation’s public schools.

Prof Fraser will bring to the fore how these and other issues still resonate, and open discussion as to the implications of the American experience for school leaders in England, with reference to questions of “equal time” for intelligent design, how to teach the basic science of evolutionary Biology to students holding conservative religious views, and rights ofreligious minorities.


William Nicholas
+44 (0)20 7612 6423 | creme@ioe.ac.uk